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First, the physician will take a brief medical history. Describe your symptoms, past illnesses and medications you are currently taking. Be sure to tell the physician if you are on blood thinners (anticoagulants such as Coumadin), are highly susceptible to infections, bruise easily, have a pacemaker, defibrillator, a heart murmur or current heart issue, have a history of hepatitis or AIDS, fainting, seizures, or a latex allergy. A brief neurological examination may follow to check muscle strength, sensations and reflexes.
Nerve Conduction Test: Recording electrodes will be taped to your skin. A stimulating electrode is held against your skin, which sends a small electrical charge along the nerve. You may feel a tingle or your muscle may twitch. The recording electrodes will detect the electrical signals as they travel along the nerve. The interval between the stimulation and the response will be recorded to determine how quickly and efficiently signals travel along the nerve. Each test will take just a few minutes, but several nerves may have to be tested depending upon the disorder.
Needle Electromyography: A thin disposable needle electrode is inserted into a muscle to record electrical activity, at rest and during effort. The number of muscles examined may vary depending upon your particular condition. The total testing time may be close to 30 minutes. There is a slight risk of minor localized bleeding at the site of needle insertion. Transient soreness of the tested muscles may be experienced, which responds to over-the-counter pain relievers.